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Habitat

Feral pigeons descend from domesticated rock doves choosing to build their nests on man-made structures as opposed to cliff faces. They are now common in many urban areas and are closely associated with humans, feeding on spillage from food outlets and scraps.

Biology

Adult 33cm long, weighs 280-560g. Feral pigeons can breed throughout the year peaking between March and July. Normally, two white eggs are laid on consecutive days, incubation lasting eighteen days and fledging takes place about four and half weeks later. A new clutch can be laid when the first young are twenty days old.

Pest Status

Feral pigeons are a major pest fouling of building and monuments frequently occurs where pigeons nest and roost. It is not only unsightly but the acidic nature of the droppings can erode the surface of stonework. Gutter and drainpipes may become blocked leading to flooding and associated problems. Health risks caused by feral pigeons include salmonella, listeria and lung disease. Pigeons are vectors for the likes of fleas, lice, mites, mealworms, spider beetles and clothes moths.

Control

Permanent control of the pigeon is not possible because these birds have adapted to stress and the many sources of food made available to them in the urban environment. The most effective control available is the alteration of their environment. Bird repellents, bird chemosterilants, and bird toxicants are available for use around areas such as: commercial facilities, farm buildings, grain elevators, and nurseries. These products are generally sold for commercial or restricted use by qualified professionals.

 

 
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